Ye Olde Football Blog continues a sporadic and random series on local spring games. Today: Greenwich.
In just two short years we’ve gone from, When will Greenwich be back? to Will Greenwich ever over the hump?
It’s progress, but we doubt it’s the kind of progress Greenwich would call inspiring.
After a three-year layoff including one inglorious 5-5 season, the Cardinals returned to the FCIAC championship game in 2011. They finally snapped a four-year state playoff curse last year. But their postseason success has been negligible so far.
Now Greenwich is looking to get back the mojo that served it so well for most of its history, that of an virtually unbeatable, bone-crushing behemoth. Y’know, like Xavier except with brighter colors.
Could it possibly happen this year? Well, there are two things working against Greenwich. 1. They graduated a lot. 2. The schedule.
Ah, the schedule.
Greenwich gets Ervin Phillips and West Haven in the SCC-FCIAC challenge. Darien and New Canaan are back on the menu, too.
And those are just the first three weeks.
The good news is at least Greenwich won’t be scraping for playoff points come November, like it did the last two years.
The Greenwich Time delved into the team’s progress at the annual Red and White game down at Cardinal Stadium.
Here are the essentials:
- Greenwich graduated 30 seniors, including safety Taylor Olmstead, QB Liam O’Neil, TE Joe Kelly and utility man Alex McMurray.
- Jose Melo, who spelled O’Neil during the first few weeks of the season and threw for 667 yards and 6 TDs last year, figures to be the primary QB. He quarterbacked the red team while Matt Marzulla ran the white team’s offense.
- Back Austin Longi, who did a little bit of everything in spots, particularly on special teams, for Greenwich last year, did a majority of the heavy lifting for the Red squad. He scored the game’s only offensive TD.
- Linebacker Peter Argo returned a fumble for a touchdown for the Red team. Thomas Martins had a pair of sacks.
- Look for ‘The Two Jacks,’ DE Jack Wynne (4 sacks) and DE Jack Harrington, senior captains and defensive line anchors, to carry the leadership torch held by former defensive standouts Olmstead and Shane Nastahowski.
- Melo and offensive lineman Justin Gaccione are the other two Greenwich captains and the offensive leaders.
- Plenty of pictures in the Greenwich Time slideshow of to-be sophomore Scooter Harrington and to-be senior LB Kendrick Pozo. Hmm…
“I think it’s good for the state and I’m glad we play them at home. It’s exciting for the state, but it’s going to affect the state rankings as far as who may go to states, the first week. It’s good to play different teams though.”
-Coach Rich Albonizio on the schedule
“Everyone is focused on learning their assignments and I think it showed today. The Xavier loss is in the back of my mind, I did not like the way the season ended last year, so hopefully we can make it different this year.”
-Quad-captain, OL Justin Gaccione
The first three games are a nightmare. West Haven — which figures to be preseason Top 10 team (if not Top 5) — comes to Cardinal Stadium. Then its off to Darien and back home vs. New Canaan. Greenwich will be in tremendous shape if it survives, even with a loss. The rest of the schedule is nothing by comparison. Most of the next seven opponents all struggled in 2012 and Trinity Catholic is expected to take a step back. Barring a surprise from, maybe, Trumbull or whomever, Greenwich could be in position to claim a state playoff spot or playing for the FCIAC title. But again… Weeks 1-3 are huge.